Samantha Robinson is a stoic competitor. 

No matter what is happening on the volleyball court, the Ellison junior keeps an even keel, whether things are going good or bad. She also just happens to be quite a talented setter.

Proof of such was her performance in the Lady Eagles’ 3-1 victory (25-23, 24-26, 26-24, 25-17) over Belton on Oct. 28 in a tiebreaking match for the fourth playoff seed in District 8-6A.

Robinson registered 22 assists and four service aces in the postseason-clinching win over the Lady Tigers, and she spearheaded Ellison’s effort in every facet.

“I knew that our team needed to push through,” Robinson said. “We went point for point, and we needed each point to get to where we needed to go.”

Robinson was rewarded for her performance against Belton by being named the Freddy’ Player of the Week.

Robinson celebrated her 17th birthday Sunday, and Lady Eagles head coach Sarah Stolley said it was a great weekend for her to receive the award.

“One thing I can always say about Sam is she is steady,” Stolley said. “She’s just a constant source of positive energy and strength for our team — she’s our rock, I think. She’s definitely deserving of the award, and she played a huge part in that win against Belton.”

Robinson said she just simply does her job each match.

“As a setter, you’ve got to make sure everybody is doing well,” she said, “and you have to have the most energy because if you’re down, the whole team is going to be down. As a setter, you have to set an example on the court.

“I just listen to what coach Stolley tells us about playing every game like it’s your last, and I just play hard.”

Robinson was an integral piece for an Ellison team that went 21-17 overall this season, and Stolley said she was consistent all year and had a calm presence about her in each match.

“She doesn’t allow herself to get rattled,” Stolley said. “That’s exactly what you’re looking for not only as a setter, but a leader of the team. Her calmness was definitely needed in a game like that against Belton, for sure.

“The growth she had — not just this year as a junior, but since she’s been on varsity — has been tremendous. Her defense has definitely improved, and her volleyball IQ is expanding every single day.

“The amount of time she dedicates to the sport is instrumental in her growth not only in her as a player, but the growth of the rest of the team.”

Robinson received 45 percent of the vote to edge Killeen junior quarterback Marcellus Johnson, who garnered 39 percent of the tally.

Others nominated were Florence senior linebacker Cutter Callan and Belton senior quarterback Peyton Mansell.

Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Previously spent time as sports editor at both the Hereford Brand and the Gatesville Messenger. Graduate of West Texas A&M University.

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